Monday, January 25, 2010

Primer

I saw Primer the other day and again last night and again last night with the director’s commentary. It’s a very interesting, ultra-low budget film that was recommended to me when I described an idea I had for an accidental time travel story (more on that in a different post).

Primer takes place in suburb of Dallas, Texas around 2001. It involves a group of technology workers that are making circuit boards for hobbyists while trying to get an idea that will generate interest from Venture Capital groups. While investigating near room temperature superconductors, they discover some weird properties associated with the tests that imply the test item (a Weeble) is going forward in time faster when it’s in the machine. They figure out how to do the process backwards and how to build a larger version. At this point the story spins, or loops, out of control in very inventive ways. The film has some interesting takes on the difference between being smart and being wise.

While listening to the Director’s commentary, I got the feel I was in a crash course on how to make a very low budget film; lots of rehearsal so you can get most scenes in one take, use quality sound equipment, get a few seconds extra at the beginning and end of each scene for editing and lots of other tidbits. The amazing thing about the movie is that it doesn’t look like an ultra low budget film. It doesn’t look like a blockbuster but you can tell these guys had some attention to detail.

So look it up, put it in your Netflix queue and enjoy it. I think it would make a good double feature with Memento.

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